- by cnn
- 29 Nov 2023
Sorely missed blue skies are returning and cities across the northeastern US are experiencing better air quality indexes after the monstrous cloud of smoke spewed by the wildfires in Canada dissipates.
Major metropolitan cities across Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut had air quality indexes below 100 as of Saturday morning, according to government website airnow.gov. When the index rises over 100, the air quality is classified as "unhealthy for sensitive groups."
For days, more than 75 million people have been trapped under a thick, orange blanket of smog as the Canadian wildfires spewed noxious fumes across the border.
The fires in Canada have already scorched about 15 times the normal burned area for this time of the year: nearly 11 million acres - more than double the size of New Jersey - with more than 2 million acres concentrated in Quebec alone.
As of Saturday, Philadelphia, had a "moderate." air quality index of 59; New York City was in the "good" category with an index of 30; Jersey City, New Jersey, was "good" at 33; and Madison, Connecticut, had a "good" index of 14.
Last week, all four cities had air quality indexes above 150 on Wednesday, which was classified as "unhealthy." Philadelphia had an index of 205 Wednesday morning, classified as "very unhealthy." New York reached a level of 484 Wednesday afternoon, which is classified as "hazardous" and the highest level on record in the city since the 1960s.
The oppressive smoke postponed professional sports games, grounded flights due to poor visibility, shuttered zoos and beaches and kept children inside at school.
Premier announces changes to long-delayed projectread more